Sunday, April 5, 2020

MIA Reports

In-depth reporting on psychiatry and its impact on society.

“Not Fragile”: Survivor-Led Mutual Aid Projects Flourish in a Time of Crisis

During the current pandemic, the practice of mutual aid—defined broadly as the ways that people join together to meet one another’s needs for survival and relationship—has become mainstream. Yet, often missing from major media coverage of mutual aid is any acknowledgment of its roots in movements led by marginalized people, including Black and Brown people, disabled people, mad people, and psychiatric survivors.

Mutual Support in an Age of Social Distancing

Connection, whether one-on-one or in groups, is at the heart of peer support. In a time when social distancing, shelter-in-place, and stay-at-home orders proliferate,...
cartoon drawing of many eyes on red background

Mental Health Apps: AI Surveillance Enters Our World

While the developers are promoting the apps as a public health initiative, they are effectively an AI that would be snooping on you at all times—ostensibly coming to know you better than you know yourself. And ultimately doing so for commercial purposes that will expand the psychiatric enterprise.

Psychology is Not What You Think: An Interview with Critical Psychologist Ian Parker

MIA’s Ayurdhi Dhar interviews Ian Parker about critical psychology, discourse and political action, and whether psychology has anything left to offer.
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie

An Open Letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie: A Plan for Deprescribing Veteran Suicides

Through my research and experiences, I've found that what the Veterans Administration has been doing to fight the veteran suicide epidemic isn't working and appears to be unintentionally exacerbating it. These problems are fixable. But I need your help.
Laysha Ostrow

Live and Learn: An Interview with Laysha Ostrow

MIA’s Peter Simons interviews Laysha Ostrow about her mental health research and consulting company, the inclusion of peer specialists in mental health care, and her personal experience with the mental health system.

The Carter Center’s Guide for Mental Health Journalism: Don’t Question, Follow the Script

The Carter Center’s Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health is a manual for docile journalism. There is no encouragement to be skeptical of the powerful in psychiatry. Rather, the guide provides reporters with a template to follow that reifies conventional wisdom, offering a message similar to what the American Psychiatric Association has sounded for years.

“Reimagining Psychiatry:” An Interview with Peter Stastny

Peter Stastny is a New York-based psychiatrist, documentary filmmaker, and a co-founder of the International Network toward Alternatives and Recovery (INTAR). He has been...

Moving Mental Health Work Away From Diagnosis: Sarah Kamens and Peter Kinderman on New...

MIA's Justin Karter interviews two leaders of the Task Force on Diagnostic Alternatives, a group of mental health professionals who have issued an open letter demanding a new look at psychiatric diagnosis.

Capitol Hill Briefings Debunk Myth Linking Gun Violence to Mental Illness

The public is regularly led to believe that mass shootings are committed by people diagnosed with a serious mental illness. Researchers explain that is just plain wrong, and prevents our society addressing the most common causal factors.
Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders’ ‘Revolutionary’ Disability Plan Opposes Expanding Involuntary Treatment

Candidate Bernie Sanders' 'disability rights as civil rights' plan is distinctive in its explicit inclusion of people with psychiatric disabilities and diagnoses, an orientation that runs counter to prevailing policy discourse in the U.S. 

Psychology and Poverty: An Interview with APA President Rosie Phillips Davis

MIA’s Gavin Crowell-Williamson interviews psychologist Rosie Phillips Davis about her presidential initiative to address deep poverty.

The Charade of New Drug Approvals for Schizophrenia

The FDA recently approved lumateperone for schizophrenia. A review of the clinical trials reveals a testing process that is fatally flawed, and a new drug coming to market that doesn't provide a clinically meaningful benefit.
prison

The Management of Captive Populations with Psychiatric Drugs: An Interview with Anthony Ryan Hatch

Dr. Anthony Ryan Hatch is a sociologist and associate professor of Science in Society, African American studies and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University, who...

Opening Doors in the Borderlands: An Interview with Liberation Psychologist Mary Watkins

MIA’s Micah Ingle interviews Mary Watkins about reorienting psychology toward liberation and social justice.

The Whistleblower and Penn: A Final Accounting of Study 352

After 18 years, the full story of the scientific corruption in a study of paroxetine for bipolar disorder, and the psychiatrist who blew the whistle.
Trump at mental health summit

Trump Calls for “Keeping Very Dangerous People Off Our Streets” at Mental Health Summit

A common refrain from the pro-forced treatment advocates at the summit was that "four walls" are not the solution to the crisis. Dr. Drew slammed such efforts in California during his presentation: "The vast majority have serious mental illness and drug addiction. Four walls are not going to do anything, if they would even go in."

Healing Youth with Nature and Connection: An Interview with Peter Mayfield

An interview with Peter Mayfield, founder and Executive Director of the Gateway Mountain Center. Peter talks of his journey from mountaineering to his role as an educator and mentor, and how enabling children and adolescents to connect with nature has such a profound effect on their health and wellbeing.
Britney Spears

The Media’s New Hashtag: #GuardianshipIsGood for Britney Spears

Recent press coverage of top star Britney Spears, who remains under a personal and professional guardianship, reflects conventional attitudes about “mental illness” that are both stigmatizing and encourage legislation that promotes forced treatment.

Prescribing an Epidemic: A Veteran’s Story

Had I known what I know now, I never would have taken any of these drugs, and I absolutely would not have taken a role in which my outreach efforts to get veterans into mental health treatment might place thousands of lives at risk.
Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris’s ‘Mental Health’ Plan: Why It Still Matters

Harris’s plan was met with vociferous condemnation from psychiatric survivors, civil libertarians, and disability justice advocates, who vowed to fight it. While Harris has dropped out of the presidential race, the ideas behind her policy proposal have existed for decades, and are likely to endure.

Medication-Free Treatment in Norway: A Private Hospital Takes Center Stage

At the Hurdalsjøen Recovery Center in Norway, patients with a long history of psychiatric hospitalizations are tapering from their medications and, in a therapeutic environment that emphasizes a good diet, exercise, and asking patients "what do they want in life," are leaving their old lives as chronic patients behind.
Celia Brown

On Human Rights and Surviving Race: A Conversation with Celia Brown

An interview with Celia Brown: psychiatric survivor, human rights activist, and president of MindFreedom International.
veteran suicides

Screening + Drug Treatment = Increase in Veteran Suicides

For the past 15 years, the VA's suicide prevention efforts have focused on getting veterans screened and treated for psychiatric disorders, with antidepressants a first-line therapy. This effort has caused veteran suicide rates to steadily rise.
RESPONSE Act

Here We Go Again: RESPONSE Act Pushes Forced Treatment of the “Mentally Ill” As...

In the name of preventing mass shootings, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced a bill that calls for "enhanced mental health services," including involuntary treatment and long-acting antipsychotic injections. It also calls for increased collaboration between mental health and law enforcement authorities, and promotes online monitoring of American students.

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